Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioThe Memo: 'Whistleblower' furor gains steam Liberal super PAC launches browser extension replacing 'Mitch McConnell' with 'Moscow Mitch' Trump faces difficult balancing act with reelection campaign MORE (R-Fla.) is declining to say if he believes the Washington Redskins should change its name. 

Rubio, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, told The Tampa Bay Times the decision should be left to the football team's owners. 


"I'm a United States senator, and we face such important issues that confront this country," Rubio said in an article published Sunday. "I know some are offended by it. Others are deeply committed to the name and what it stands for traditionally for the franchise."

Rubio's office told The Hill it had nothing else to offer when asked about the senator's personal opinion on the name. 

Fifty senators who caucus with the Democrats are on record supporting a name change. And the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office earlier this year ruled to cancel half a dozen of the NFL team’s trademarks, concluding the name is disparaging to Native Americans. 

Most Republicans, however, either have not weighed in or are supportive of the team's name. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told the newspaper the issue is insignificant compared to other problems. 

"It's a football team that's given back to the community. It's got a lot of pride," he said. "Come on. The world is blowing up and we're talking about a football team?"

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is one of the few Republicans who has said he would probably change the name if he owned the team, a view also held by President Obama.  

— updated 2:40 p.m.